According to the Pew Research Center, 97% of the U.S. population owns some type of cell phone, and 85% own a smartphone. Purchasing a mobile phone can also be a major expense, so having coverage if you should accidentally damage your phone or have it stolen could provide a welcome economic benefit.
Several credit cards come with complimentary cell phone protection, and now American Express, one of the world’s largest card issuers, has joined the trend.
Today we’re going to look closely at how Amex cell phone protection works, learn how to activate and utilize the coverage, and which Amex cards offer this complementary protection.
How Amex Cell Phone Protection Works
While cell phone protection is automatically included on your eligible card, there are requirements that need to be met before coverage kicks in, only certain losses that are covered, and specific exclusions that apply.
How To Activate the Coverage
To receive coverage, you must meet certain requirements. Here’s how coverage activation is triggered and how you receive ongoing coverage:
- Charge your monthly cell phone bill to your eligible card
- Coverage begins on the first day of the month following the initial cell phone bill payment made with your card
If you do not pay your cell phone bill in any given month, your coverage is suspended effective the first day of the following month. Your coverage will be reinstated the first day of the month following any subsequent cell phone bill payment.
Eligible cell phones include those associated with the primary phone line of the cardmember and any additional or supplemental lines listed on the monthly bill and paid for with the eligible card.
Also, based on our conversation with Amex, authorized users are also eligible for the cell phone protection benefit.
You’ll have coverage for the following losses:
- Theft of the Cell Phone — A police report must be filed within 48 hours
- Damage to the Cell Phone — Accidental damage is included and Amex does clarify specifically that a cracked screen is covered
You can expect to receive reimbursement for the cost to repair or replace a stolen or damaged eligible cell phone up to the coverage limits.
You may receive up to $800 per claim. Each claim is subject to a $50 deductible and there is a limit of 2 claims per eligible card account in each 12-month period.
What’s Not Covered
As with all insurance, there are exclusions to coverage. Here is an overview of the list of losses that won’t be covered under Amex’s cell phone protection:
- Cellular wireless accessories, except for the manufacturer’s battery and antenna
- Cellular wireless telephones that are for resale, professional, or commercial use (consumer cards only)
- Lost cell phones or mysterious disappearance
- Cell phones that are under the control of a common carrier, such as an airline or delivery service
- Rented, leased, prepaid, or borrowed cell phones
- Cosmetic damage that does not impair the phone’s ability to make or receive calls
- Intentional or illegal acts, normal wear and tear, vermin damage, or confiscation
- Replacement cell phones purchased from other than the cellular provider’s retail/internet store or designated agent having the authorization to activate the phone
- Losses under warranty or covered by other insurance
- Taxes and delivery/transportation fees
Keep in mind that this list of exclusions is abbreviated and there are additional terms and conditions that will apply. You can find complete descriptions in your card’s specific guide to benefits.
Bottom Line: To activate Amex cell phone protection, you must pay your monthly wireless bill with your eligible card and the coverage begins the first day of the month after you pay your first wireless bill. Coverage is up to $800 per claim for damage and theft, a maximum of 2 claims per 12-month period, and each claim has a $50 deductible. Terms and conditions apply.
How To File a Claim
If you have a covered loss, you’ll need to report the claim as soon as possible, gather and submit supporting documentation, and meet certain deadlines in order for your claim to be handled effectively.
The first step is to report the claim by calling 833-784-1467 as soon as possible, but no later than 90 days after the incident. You will then be provided the needed forms to submit in order for your claim to be processed.
You could be asked to submit the following:
- A copy of your card statement showing that the payment for your cell phone bill was paid for the previous month with your eligible card
- A copy of your cell phone provider’s bill
- Copy of your receipt for the purchase of your cell phone or other documentation that links the phone number on the bill to your phone
- A copy of any other insurance that would apply, a copy of a claim report from your home or auto insurance, or declaration pages showing policy deductibles
- If the claim is for theft, you will need to submit the police report
- For a damage claim, a repair estimate and photos of the damage
- Any other requested supporting documentation
You will have 120 days from the date of loss to submit the required information.
Amex Personal Cards That Offer Cell Phone Protection
Amex has limited cell phone protection to its most premium cards. Let’s look at which personal consumer cards offer this complimentary coverage.
Cell phone protection is just 1 additional and useful benefit added to the long list of premium travel benefits and protections that come with the Amex Platinum card. With worldwide lounge access, hundreds of dollars in statement credits, and good-value flexible redemption options, it’s no wonder the card retains its popularity year after year.
Frequent flyers of Delta Air Lines who value lounge access, a faster path to Medallion elite status, Delta-centric benefits, and a first class companion ticket each year will find value with the Delta Reserve card.
The Delta Platinum card also offers a shortcut to elite status when spending on the card, priority boarding and security, a free checked bag, and an annual companion ticket for just the cost of taxes/fees.
Learn more in our overview of the best Amex Delta credit cards.
Amex Business Cards That Offer Cell Phone Protection
While Amex consumer cards exclude cellular wireless telephones that are for resale, professional, or commercial use, these exclusions do not apply to the cell phone protection on Amex business cards.
Here are just a few popular Amex business cards offering this expanded coverage:
With a generous welcome bonus, elevated earnings on common business expenses (first 3 months after card approval), statement credits for specific purchases, and a 35% rebate when purchasing flights with points, you’ll find plenty of value for your business with the card.
Delta flyers who have the Delta Reserve Business card will enjoy lounge access when flying Delta, an annual companion flight certificate, Delta elite-style flight benefits, and a faster path to earning Delta elite status. Additionally, just having the card elevates your chances for complimentary flight upgrades.
As with any Delta-branded card, you’ll earn more when spending on Delta, receive flight benefits such as priority boarding, a free checked bag, and discounts for onboard food and beverage. The Delta Platinum Business card also offers faster elite qualification for spending on the card.
Learn how to get a targeted (elevated) welcome bonus on Delta-branded business cards in our informative article.
Additional Amex Cards With Cell Phone Protection
In addition to the premium consumer and business cards previously mentioned, you can expect to find Amex cell phone protection on the following Amex issued cards:
- The American Express Platinum Card® Exclusively for Schwab
- Business Centurion® Card from American Express
- Centurion Card® from American Express
- The Platinum Card® from American Express Exclusively for Ameriprise Financial
- The Platinum Card® from American Express Exclusively for Goldman Sachs
- The Platinum Card® from American Express Exclusively for Morgan Stanley
Bottom Line: You’ll find complimentary Amex cell phone protection coverage on a dozen premium American Express cards.
Additional Amex Protection for Cell Phones
While short-term in the length of coverage or having a limited application, you will find additional protection for your cell phone offered on all of the Amex cards in this article.
- Purchase Protection — Pay for your eligible item with your card and receive coverage for damage and theft for 90 days from the date of purchase. Coverage is limited to $10,000 per incident, $50,000 per card.
- Extended Warranty — Eligible items purchased with your card that have manufacturer’s warranties of 5 years or less may receive 1 additional year of coverage. Coverage is limited to $10,000 per incident, $50,000 per card.
Bottom Line: While the level of coverage varies, you’ll find purchase protection and extended warranty coverages on every American Express card.
Amex has stepped up to the plate with a respectable and competitive cell phone protection offering on its premium cards of up to $1,600 per year in potential benefits.
Cell phone damage is common and having this additional coverage can be a real economic benefit should you need to use it. Keep in mind, however, that with many premium Amex cards you’ll generally be earning 1x rewards when paying your cell phone bill. Be sure to monitor your Amex Offers for additional earning offers.
The information regarding The American Express Platinum Card® Exclusively for Schwab, Business Centurion® Card from American Express, Centurion Card® from American Express, The Platinum Card® from American Express Exclusively for Ameriprise Financial, The Platinum Card® from American Express Exclusively for Goldman Sachs, and The Platinum Card® from American Express Exclusively for Morgan Stanley was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card, click here.
For rates and fees of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card, click here.